Natural Forces WINSLOW HOMER AND FREDERIC REMINGTON: Resources for Kids

We're looking forward to sharing Natural Forces: Winslow Homer and Frederic Remington with you in person. Until then, we have developed ways for everyone to engage with the exhibition from home. Our team has compiled great resources to unpack the themes used by these two acclaimed American artists.

Here you'll find resources for all ages to enrich your experience engaging with this exhibition at home or in person. For our youngest learners interested in looking at art, we draw on the themes of movement and escaping into nature. For those seeking hands-on art activities and information about the artists’ processes, we are sharing resources related to movement, exploration and the power of nature. Tweens and teens can explore the exhibition with a critical eye, focusing on representation, perspectives and identity through activities found below.

We hope these activities inspire you to look, make and think together! We would love to see your response—don’t forget to share your creations with us on social media using #NaturalForcesatDAM.

The Cheyenne bronze sculpture by Frederic Remington
Frederic Remington, The Cheyenne, modeled 1901 (cast by 1903). Bronze; 20 7/8 x 24 3/8 x 7 1/2 in. Denver Art Museum: funds from William D. Hewit Charitable Annuity Trust, 1981.14A-B

LOOKING TOGETHER

As you look through these artworks with your little ones, you might notice that Homer and Remington excelled at depicting movement in their artworks. From sweeping seascapes where waves crash upon the shore to action-packed battle scenes on horseback, Homer and Remington captured it all.

Talk with your kiddos about what they see! In Remington’s sculpture, The Cheyenne, how can you tell the horse and rider are in motion? Need some help getting started? Use this handy guide to talk with your kids about movement in art.

You can also use this fun new game to step into the stunning artworks in Natural Forces: Winslow Homer and Frederic Remington. Download, print, and cut out the riddle and artwork cards. Can you match the artwork to the riddle?

CREATING TOGETHER

Artists sometimes use their art to communicate personal perspectives and ideas. Winslow Homer and Frederic Remington did this, at times taking artistic license to depict scenes of early America as they navigated the vast and changing landscapes of New England and the West.

Feeling inspired by the expansive landscapes and themes of exploration found in these paintings and sculptures? Channel your energy into hands-on creative activities.

Through these activities, you can investigate how artists imply or create movement in art or how artists are inspired by nature. Here we’ll walk you through the steps to create your own canoe. Download the template here or draw your own template on a recycled material. Take a deep dive into one of Remington’s bronze sculptures through the lesson plan here. Learn more about the process of mold-making before creating your very own.

Remember, these are creative sparks—feel free to tweak the prompts to make the project more inspiring or relevant to you and your little one!

THINKING TOGETHER

The lives and work of American artists Winslow Homer (1836–1910) and Frederic Remington (1861–1909) overlapped during an era of rapid transformation in America. Though fraught with bias, the turn of the twentieth century was also imbued with hope for the possibilities of a modern age. Homer’s and Remington’s artworks responded to the challenges and hopes of this complex period. Bring the past alive by connecting themes from the exhibition to contemporary challenges using these resources and activities.

Let’s look together at Natural Forces with an emphasis on critical thinking using contextual information. Start off by learning more about each artist by viewing the exhibition click through and record your findings in this compare and contrast notecatcher.

Consider how we are responding to these works of art—as factual depictions or as artistic fancy? Experiment with the process of representation yourself by completing this drawing activity or watching this demonstration. Looking for related texts to examine this complex topic? Read Assistant Curator Dakota Hoska’s blog post, Sterotypes in Remington's Fight for the Waterhole.

In the exhibition, excerpts of poems grace the walls as a way to layer in other voices to give a richer context of the American experience during the period. For nineteenth century Americans, poetry was an important way to engage in political and cultural discourses. Check out some of the accompanying poems and write your own poem about 21st centry America.

Looking for art-making inspiration? Join artist Anna Kaye for an At Home Drop-In Drawing activity or check out how local musicians, artists and creatives responded to the exhibition in the Untitled: Creative Fusions at Home video episodes.